All Star Service: Bobbi Koppel of Current Fish & Oyster

“You really have to look at the whole restaurant as one table. It’s all your responsibility.”

Bobbi Koppel – Current Fish & Oyster


“I love working in restaurants,” says Bobbi Koppel, who has been in the service business for 24 years. “I love the whole vibe. The people who work in restaurants are good people—you have to love taking care of people to be in this business. Preparing and sharing food is a way of caring for people.” Koppel holds those who wait on her to the same standard she sets for herself. “I’m critical,” Koppel says. “Don’t tell me what your favorite dish is—I want facts, not opinions. I don’t care what ‘the most popular’ dish is, either. Jargon is unacceptable—don’t tell me you’re about to bring my ‘apps’ or that the kitchen is ‘firing’ my entree now. And don’t overshare—it’s not my problem if the kitchen is in the weeds or a busser didn’t show up. A server’s job is to make sure none of those internal difficulties are apparent to the diner.”


Serving is her career, says Koppel. And though she laments that many restaurants don’t have adequate training programs in place, she says “it’s the server’s responsibility to learn” about the food being served. “I research for myself beyond what the chef tells me.” The rising level of innovation in the kitchen and the popular interest in food and cooking means that the audience is growing. “It’s my job to make them feel comfortable,” says Koppel. “They’re my guests.”

Written by: Mary Malouf

Photography by: Adam Finkle

Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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